Police, NSCDC officers beat up soldier for refusing to wear face mask

A combined team of men of policemen and men of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSDC) beat up a soldier in Benin on Saturday after he allegedly refused to wear a face mask.

The incident happened between 1 pm and 1:30 pm at the popular Lagos Street/Oba Market Street junction in downtown Benin.

Residents fled the area for fear of reprisal attack by soldiers who later stormed the area.

Tribune Online reports that the incident occurred barely 24 hours after the state government shut down all business activities in Lagos street over the refusal of traders and residents to comply with the state government’s directives to participate in the ongoing screening and testing exercise for coronavirus (COVID-19).

The testing was part of the measures put in place by the government to contain the spread of the virus in the state.

Tribune Online reports that the soldier was in the company of his wife when the incident happened Saturday afternoon.

The soldier whose identity could not be ascertained was said to have refused repeated calls by the police officers and NSCDC officials to put on his facemask.

According to an eyewitness who pleaded anonymity, the soldier man who was on military khaki short tied a handkerchief on his neck while his wife did not properly put on her facemask.

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They alleged that the soldier showed his identity card to the policeman who dismissed it as a fake.

The witness said that the soldier was infuriated when one of the policemen pushed his wife with a gun in a bid to make her wear the mask.

Following the argument that ensued, the policemen, reportedly descended on the soldier and injured him on the head with the butt of the gun.

Moments later, angry soldiers who were driving to the nearby Oba Police divisional headquarters, shot sporadically into the air to scare the police and NSCDC officers.

Tribune Online reports that it took the quick intervention of top officers of the Nigerian Army and the state police command to douse the tension.

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